A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

A magical novel about a young Iranian woman lifted from grief by her powerful imagination and love of Western culture.



Growing up in a small rice-farming village in 1980s Iran, eleven-year-old Saba Hafezi and her twin sister, Mahtab, are captivated by America. They keep lists of English words and collect illegal Life magazines, television shows, and rock music. So when ...
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A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea: A Novel

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Overview

A magical novel about a young Iranian woman lifted from grief by her powerful imagination and love of Western culture.



Growing up in a small rice-farming village in 1980s Iran, eleven-year-old Saba Hafezi and her twin sister, Mahtab, are captivated by America. They keep lists of English words and collect illegal Life magazines, television shows, and rock music. So when her mother and sister disappear, leaving Saba and her father alone in Iran, Saba is certain that they have moved to America without her. But her parents have taught her that “all fate is written in the blood,” and that twins will live the same life, even if separated by land and sea. As she grows up in the warmth and community of her local village, falls in and out of love, and struggles with the limited possibilities in post-revolutionary Iran, Saba envisions that there is another way for her story to unfold. Somewhere, it must be that her sister is living the Western version of this life. And where Saba’s world has all the grit and brutality of real life under the new Islamic regime, her sister’s experience gives her a freedom and control that Saba can only dream of.



Filled with a colorful cast of characters and presented in a bewitching voice that mingles the rhythms of Eastern storytelling with modern Western prose, A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea is a tale about memory and the importance of controlling one’s own fate.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Saba Hafezi, 11, who lives in postrevolution Iran, has long held onto the belief that her twin sister, Mahtab, and her mother have immigrated to the United States, even though everyone around her tells her that Mahtab is dead and her mother imprisoned or worse. Fueled by illegally obtained Western literature and tapes of American movies, television, and music, Saba weaves stories about Mahtab's imagined life in America, which parallel Saba's life events despite the radically different choices and freedoms available to each girl. As she matures with her two best friends, Reza and Ponneh, an uneasy triangle emerges. VERDICT Nayeri's highly accomplished debut is a rich, multilayered reading experience. Structurally complex, the overriding theme is storytelling in all its forms, and the fine line between truth and lies. Each one of the large cast of characters is fully realized and sympathetic. Saba is a captivating heroine whose tragedies and triumphs will carry readers on a long but engrossing ride. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 8/9/12.]—Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101601990
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/31/2013
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 173,548
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Dina Nayeri was born in Tehran during the revolution and immigrated to Oklahoma at ten years old. She has a BA from Princeton and a Master of Education and MBA from Harvard. She is a Truman Capote Fellow and a Teaching Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 16, 2013

    In many books, what is written on the book jacket or the online

    In many books, what is written on the book jacket or the online description gives away what happens in the first few chapters. In a Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, that description makes up the entirety of its plot. Not an action driven novel, this is primarily a story of what it feels like to be a woman in Iran after the Revolution. Though the writing is beautiful and evocative, the story itself seems to drag. I found the tone of the book and its main characters to be largely self-pitying. I might be whiney too in their circumstances, but I like to have a worthy protagonist to root for when I read, like I did in The Taliban Cricket Club or All Woman and Springtime. I will recommend this novel to friends for its beautiful writing and sense of atmosphere, but it won’t be at the top of my list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Lovely and poetic. This tale of Iran and its treatment of women

    Lovely and poetic. This tale of Iran and its treatment of women, reminds each of us just how fragile life and human rights are. Great discussion book for a book club.

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    A Good Read

    This book held my intrest. I like most books by Indian authors,they usually weave a good tale and this book does just that. I think this book would make a good book club discussion group as there many different aspects to discuss.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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